Hunter railway line

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Hunter line
CityRailhunter.png
Mode Regional rail
Operator(s) NSW TrainLink
Connects Newcastle
Hamilton
Maitland
Dungog/Scone
Stations 31
Fleet Hunter Railcars Endeavour Railcar
Depot(s) Broadmeadow
Line colour Purple/Grey
Key dates
December 2014 Line truncated to Wickham to allow construction of the Newcastle Light Rail.

The Hunter railway line is an intercity railway line of the NSW TrainLink network. The line runs from the central business district of Newcastle, on the coast, northwest to Scone and Dungog in the Hunter Region.

History and features[edit]

The Hunter line consists of the Newcastle branch line between Newcastle and Islington Junction, the Main North line between Islington Junction and Maitland, the North Coast Line between Maitland and Dungog and the Main North line between Maitland and Scone. The Main North line, formerly known as the Great Northern Railway (G.N.R.), was the original mainline between Sydney and Brisbane. This line, which ran via Armidale and required a change of train due to the break of gauge at Wallangarra, was opened to East Maitland in 1857[1] and Maitland in 1858. It reached Singleton in 1863, Muswellbrook in 1869, and Scone in 1871.

The G.N.R. was then extended beyond Scone to West Tamworth in 1878, Armidale in 1883, and reached the Queensland border at Wallangarra in 1888. The new main line to Brisbane, via the North Coast was opened in stages between 1905 and 1930, but a ferry carried trains across the Clarence River at Grafton until the bridge was completed in 1932. The Newcastle rail network remained independent of the main network radiating from Sydney until 1889, when the line between Sydney and Newcastle was completed with the opening of the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge. Thus Newcastle was connected by rail with Wallangarra before it was connected with Sydney, such was the difficulty and expense of reaching and bridging the Hawkesbury River.

Between Islington Junction and Maitland, there is a four track section where the line runs parallel to the Newcastle coal lines, which serve a number of colleries along the route. The line is double track between Newcastle and St Heliers on the main line, and between Maitland and Telarah on the North Coast line, and single track between Telarah and Dungog, and between St Heliers and Scone (and beyond), with duplication of the 4 km from St Heliers to Muswellbrook due for completion in late 2009. The line is not electrified except between Hamilton and Newcastle for the benefit of Sydney trains, and the line is serviced by new Hunter railcars and older Endeavour railcar sets, both running in a 2-car configuration. Until 2007, 620 & 720 class diesel railcars (DMUs) built in the 1960s previously serviced the line.

Services run regularly between Newcastle and Telarah, with infrequent services to Dungog and Scone.

Stations[edit]

Name of Station Code Serving Suburbs Pattern stops at this station Connections
Hunter Lines
Newcastle NTL Newcastle, Newcastle East, The Hill Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Newcastle & Central Coast Line
Civic CVI Newcastle, Honeysuckle, Cooks Hill Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Newcastle & Central Coast Line
Wickham WKH Wickham, Newcastle West Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Newcastle & Central Coast Line
Hamilton HMN Hamilton, Islington, Tighes Hill Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Newcastle & Central Coast Line
Waratah WTH Waratah, Georgetown, Mayfield, Mayfield East Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Warabrook
(University)
WBK Warabrook, Callaghan Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Sandgate SDG Sandgate Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Hexham HXM Hexham Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Tarro TRJ Tarro Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Beresfield BLD Beresfield, Woodberry Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Thornton THO Thornton Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Metford MFD Metford Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Victoria Street VST East Maitland Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
East Maitland EAM East Maitland, Pitnacree, Tenambit Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
High Street HGH South Maitland, Maitland Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Maitland MTL Maitland Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Telarah TLR Telarah, Rutherford Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Mindaribba MNB Mindaribba Bullet-red.png
Paterson PTR Paterson Bullet-red.png
Martins Creek MCR Martins Creek Bullet-red.png
Hilldale HIL Hilldale Bullet-red.png
Wallarobba WLB Wallarobba Bullet-red.png
Wirragulla WGL Wirragulla Bullet-red.png
Dungog DGG Dungog Bullet-red.png
Lochinvar LCV Lochinvar Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Greta GTA Greta, North Rothbury Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Branxton BNX Branxton, East Branxton Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Singleton SIX Singleton Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Muswellbrook MBK Muswellbrook Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Aberdeen ADM Aberdeen Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png
Scone NSO Scone Bullet-red.png Bullet-red.png

All stations on this line are within the MyMulti 3 zone. Stations between Newcastle and Telarah are also within the Green Newcastle TravelPass zone, which remains available despite the replacement of the Sydney TravelPass system with the MyMulti ticket.

Stopping patterns[edit]

Hunter line service bound for Newcastle
  • Pattern 1: Newcastle, all to Telarah and vice-versa (peak and off-peak).
  • Pattern 2: Newcastle, all to Warabrook, then Beresfield, Thornton, Metford, Victoria Street, Maitland and Telarah and vice-versa (peak and off-peak – weekdays only).
  • Pattern 3: Newcastle all to Maitland and vice-versa (one afternoon off-peak service on weekdays, two services on weekends).
  • Pattern 4: Newcastle, all to Warabrook, then Beresfield, Thornton, Metford, Victoria Street, Maitland, Telarah, Paterson and all stations to Dungog and vice-versa (peak and off-peak, 5 services a day on weekdays, 3 services a day on Saturdays, 2 services a day on Sundays).
  • Pattern 5: Newcastle, all to Warabrook, then Beresfield, Thornton, Metford, Victoria Street, Maitland, and all stations to Scone and vice-versa (peak and off-peak, 2 services (1 afternoon peak hour, 1 evening peak hour) on weekdays, 1 evening service on weekends).
  • Pattern 6: Newcastle, all to Scone and vice-versa (1 early morning service on weekdays and weekends).
  • Pattern 7: Newcastle, all to Warabrook, then Beresfield, Thornton, Metford, Victoria Street, Maitland and all stations to Muswellbrook and vice-versa (one mid-morning off-peak service on weekdays only).

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Great Northern Railway Newcastle to Maitland 150 Years On, Walters, Chris Australian Railway History, March 2007 pp83-113

External links[edit]